Why students should not abandon learning a foreign language

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When we chose our classes last week, I heard many students in my sophomore class say that they hate taking a language class, as they are relieved that this upcoming year, junior year, they can drop whatever language they are currently in. Understandably, they may want to take more science-type classes, resulting in that they do not have room in their schedule for a foreign language. In many instances, though, students are dropping the class simply because they aren’t good at it or don’t like it. This, however, is no reason to drop a class.

It is reasonable not wanting to take a class because you aren’t very good at it, but one will never be good at it if they give up on it. Being able to speak a second language, though it may not be fluently, it is very important in today’s business and healthcare world. We live in an increasingly globalized world, and between two candidates for a job, the person who is able to speak another language is much more likely to be hired.

Taking the required two years of a language course is not enough to be skilled speaker, so if one spends taking two years taking the language, why not take two more to increase proficiency? Research even shows that those who speak a second language will get as much as 2% more pay each year, and while that may not sound like enough, it all adds up in the end.

Another benefit of speaking multiple languages is that it allows one to be more open-minded. When studying a language, one is also studying another culture. It has been proven that those who speak multiple languages are more understanding of other cultures and people of these cultures. This understanding and open-mindedness gives one a new perspective on the world and the various cultures in it.

Overall, learning to speak a whole new language when English grammar is barely perfected can be a pain. However, the benefits of learning languages far outweigh the cons of it. Sure, it may be more work in a class than one would like, but in the long-run, being bilingual is beneficial, even in the least expected ways.

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